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Harold Monroe

Other Harris County Drug Exonerations
On April 7, 2014, police in Houston, Texas arrested 47-year-old Harold Monroe after they seized a substance from him that field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine.

On April 10, 2014, Monroe pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance in Harris County Criminal District Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in the Harris County Jail.

On April 16, 2014, the Houston police crime laboratory tested the substance and no controlled substances were found. The lab sent a report of the negative test to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. That report and hundreds of other similar reports of laboratory tests that were negative for the presence of controlled substances went unnoticed for many months.

After the reports were discovered, the District Attorney’s conviction integrity unit notified defense attorneys and began the long process of joining with defense attorneys in filing state law petitions for writs of habeas corpus to set aside the convictions.

A writ was filed on behalf of Monroe in October 2016. On December 7, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated Monroe’s conviction. On January 4, 2017, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 1/13/2017
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2014
Sentence:90 days
Age at the date of reported crime:47
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No